Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Great & The Downright Ugly

I have a lot of time for Mukul Kesavan. He writes in a very readable and lucid manner and is never shy of expressing his opinions, how ever controversial or non-mainstream they may be. His application of linguistic tools in crafting his preview of Pakistan's chances in the recently concluded World Cup were, well, simply sublime.

This post is not attempt to sing the praises of Kesavan's literary genius, but an attempt to illustrate the difference between a what a comment piece should be and one that where the writer has, quite obviously, lost it.

I read this from Kesavan and felt a sense of happiness that my heart had been longing for. In fact, Kesavan's made me reflect on something I had written during the World Cup in relation to Sachin Tendulkar's future in international cricket.

Kesavan made his points at a time that is witness to every idiot who calls himself a cricket journalist, doing his utmost to discredit the manner in which Tendulkar constructed his back-to-back centuries against Bangladesh.
This particular point is one I had made earlier and one which Kesavan put rather eloquently:
"On the matter of Tendulkar thwarting the team interest by scoring too slowly, it's worth remembering that India scored over six hundred runs at four runs an over in less than two days and there was enough time after the declaration for Zaheer to wreck the Bangladeshi top order. There's a difference between a proper nostalgia for a younger Tendulkar who took attacks apart and the unlovely, irrational instinct to savage a great player because he has been diminished by time. Yes, Tendulkar isn't the batsman he was and his decline is the more poignant for having been accompanied by a change of style: a great attacking batsman has become a nudging accumulator. But I suggest that till we find a young batsman who can nudgingly accumulate at the same rate as Tendulkar does now, we leave him be. I don't think Suresh Raina or Yuvraj Singh are credible rivals for his batting spot. In the South African series Tendulkar was well below his best but it's worth remembering that he played rather better than his captain did."

That was the good news. The downright ugly news comes in the form of an Andrew Miller write-up, also on Cricinfo, contending that although the Late Percy Sonn was a fathomable compromise as President of the ICC, cricket will go to the dogs if an Indian becomes the next President of this esteemed organisation ahead of the "representative of cricket's old world", David Morgan.

Sharad Pawar or any other current BCCI official would also be my last choice as President of the ICC. I would have agreed with Miller had it not been for these words:
"With Pawar installed at the head of the ICC, the way would be cleared for the takeover of the ICC [emphasis added] that has long been threatened by the frustrated Indians, who represent 70% of the game's income..."

I would like to assure Miller and those who sympathise with his views that no greater harm could come to the game than if a "representative of cricket's old world" were to head the ICC. For all of the BCCI's lack of administrative ability, let us not forget that it was a former President of the said organisation that taught the ICC how to make money.

The only attribute the old world is going to bring to the post of President is the stick-in-the-mud, holier-than-thou attitude that was the hallmark of the ICC before Jagmohan Dalmiya revolutionised it - for better or for worse.

It could surely not have escaped Miller's mind that the "old world" he so yearns for are the same colonial chauvinists who refuse to accept a female into their haughty surrounds. In this context, we can only ponder in great horror at the treatment that would be meted out to those inept and greedy Asian gentlemen who have not a clue of how to manage the old world's great game.

Miller's alternative is "even less palatable".

Continued >> >>

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bangladesh Cricket: A Generation Too Soon

The final Test match has ended, that too in under three days. The whistle-stop tour has concluded without Bangladesh winning a single match. To be brutally honest, except for a moment or two in the very first ODI, the Bangladeshi's were nothing but pretenders on a stage that is far too large and daunting for them.

The topic of Bangladesh's inclusion in the Test playing ranks is a touchy topic with its passionate supporters. However, passions aside, this tour has proven that Bangladesh fall into Zimbabwe's league, when it comes to Test cricket, and do not deserve their full membership of the ICC.

This statement has been made by many prominent people in the past and must be given due consideration by the ICC. Cricket's flagship format deserves better contests than are currently offered by the likes of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. In fact, crucial to Test cricket's survival is the offering of tough, give-no-inch cricket where the one team is not overwhelmed as a matter of course, rather as a freak result.

Bangladesh have done well to significantly improve the level of competition they regularly offer to the opposition in the one-day format. However, it is no overstatement to say that Bangladesh do not yet have the resources, in terms of skill and mental fortitude, to offer a serious challenge to the traditional Test playing nations.

Bangladesh's problems are compounded by the ICC's six year itinerary. Sri Lanka, which is frequently used as an example for Bangladesh's Test status, had the benefit of being able to grow their system and structure by playing selectively in home conditions that were familiar to them, without the added pressure of an unforgiving itinerary. Bangladesh, on the other hand, have been unceremoniously and mercilessly torn to shreds in foreign conditions that they do not have the capacity to negotiate. In fact, foreign conditions alone cannot be blamed for Bangladesh's heavy losses, as the team also gets regularly humiliated at home.

It seems to me that Bangladesh's Test status has been handed over a generation too soon. It was quite obvious then that Jagmohan Dalmiya's greed was the primary motivator in granting this Test status, and this has been manifested in the results that the Bangladeshi's have produced.

For the sake of Test cricket's future, and primarily its appeal to us, the viewers, the individual members need to apply serious pressure on the ICC to revoke Bangladesh's right to play Test cricket. At the same time, making a firm commitment to replace the scheduled Test matches with "A" team fixtures.

This is the only sane and logical path that will be for the benefit of all.

Continued >> >>

Friday, May 25, 2007

Dav Whatmore Snubs The Enemy

In a clear cut case of Dave Whatmore signalling his strong desire to become part of the Indian cricket setup, word has it that he did not deign it necessary to offer the Pakistani Cricket Board a reason for not wanting discuss the vacant Pakistani coaching postion.

One would be loathe to blame Whatmore for not wanting to poke the Pakistani coaching postion with a 10 foot pole. Pakistani cricket's tendency to become embroiled in scandal after sordid scandal can hardly be a selling point to a potential candidates.

The embarrassment did not end there for the PCB. Outgoing Sri Lankan coach Tom Moody did not even answer a request to send his contact details to the Pakistani administrators.

Although no news reports are linking the actions of these two gentlemen to the tragic death, and ensuing farce that has doubled as a murder investigation, of Bob Woolmer, I would have thought that this event would have significantly influenced their actions. These revelations have almost certainly paved the way for Whatmore to be officially announced as the next coach of Team India.

However, if this piece is to be believed, the "senior players" within the Indian team had a say in Whatmore's appointment, just as they have had with the previous two coaches. IMHO, this consultation of the player group before the appointment of a coach signals nothing but the utter ineptitude of BCCI officials.

A coach ought to be selected based on his skills, demonstrated vision and his ability to implement that vision, as judged by his past performances. The playing group, no matter how experienced, should not have say in who their coach is. The only concession that could be made is to solicit the views of the incumbent captain.

Cricketing setups, even haphazard and disorganised examples such as the BCCI, follow a very simple management structure. The players play on the park and the administrators make the structural changes off it. This collaborative approach has led to friction in the past and will lead to more friction in future unless clear roles are outlined to all participants of the system.

Whatmore may indeed be a the type of person Team India needs. The pretenders that call themselves BCCI officials should have the balls to take the tough decsions themselves. That is what they are there for.

Continued >> >>

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cricket: Are The Billions Slipping Away?

Anyone keeping abreast of cricket news over the last 18 months would have been well aware of the stoush between the BCCI and the ICC pertaining to the magnitude of proceeds from the sale of their respective TV rights.

In a scenario that nobody with any influence wanted to envision when the bidding wars were in full swing, India were knocked out of the World Cup and the Indian government decided it was in the national interest for the every Indian to watch international cricket live on TV.

Suffice to say, the first event resulted in enormous losses for the ICC's encumbent broadcaster and the second event is likely to do so for the BCCI's TV men - unless their frantic lobbying (and.. err.. "incentives" offered to various people in power) is successful in repealing the new legislation.

Billion dollar contracts, as agreed on between the ICC and ESPN-Star Sports, take a while to write and finalise - don't forget the money that lawyers make in this whole process. As is the normal course of events, the ICC announced, with great haste, the mind-boggling sums the game was going to generate over the next eight years, before the ink was applied to the dotted lines.

Now, speculation (link courtesy of Kate Bower, via email) has it that ESPN-Star is doing all in its power to weasel out of signing the contract, because of the dilution of rights in the powerful Indian market brought about by the Indian government's new legislation.

Indeed, why wouldn't they try their damndest. Exclusivity is probably the greatest carrot dangled in front of bidders during the tender process. With one foul swoop the Indian government has decided that "exclusivity" as a commercial commodity has no place in cricketing economics. A billion dollars is a lot to pay for something you can't even have all to yourself.

It is, after all, mere speculation at this stage. The Indian government is well known for performing perfect-10 back flips in the event that the economics of its own ministers are significantly improved. The demerits of the Indian government's legislation not withstanding, is this what was required to bring cricket administrators out of their greed and green-backed stupor?

I did say something about cricket going to the dogs during Malcolm Speed's tenure, didn't I? Either way, lets wait and see what happens.

Continued >> >>

Australian Cricket Facing Kiwi Invasion

Two people is hardly a crowd, much less an invasion. However, when you consider that the said invaders come from a population of about 3.5 million, you begin to understand the use of the term "invasion".

I was very surprised to learn that a country that has dominated the international cricketing landscape so handsomely and convincingly for the last decade is finally looking beyond its shores.

Australian players and coaches travel to distant lands in the hope of making a good buck and maybe helping out the locals here and there. Very seldom in the past two decades has Australia made any attempt to invite aliens into its cricketing fraternity. The only two souls that spring to mind are Murray Goodwin and Graham Thorpe, but anything other than charity could not possibly explain their presence in the domestic structure.

If the Australians do consider anybody worthy of their recognition, and only in extremely hush-hush tones, it is likely to be a New Zealander. In this context it is not all that surprising to learn that John Wright is the preferred choice as Australian Academy coach after Tim Nielsen took charge of the big boys (I've spoken to some girls that would use less flattering adjectives, but we won't dwell on that).

Furthermore, in an even more bizzare series of rumours it is held that Black Cap Lou Vincent, of "hunt like pack of dogs" fame, is lobbying for a contract with South Australia. What's more, he might even get one. The world really is turning upside down.

The hitch in Vincent's pertains to certain clauses in New Zealand Cricket's central contracts that prohibit anyone other than a contracted player playing for the national team - or something to that effect.

If this is the case, I would proffer that the said clauses need to be immediately and irrevocably expunged from the concerned documents. The only system in which spectatorship of domestic cricket increases around the world , is one where all cricketers (especially the stars) are allowed to offer their services to a domestic team, anywhere on the planet. Much like the football model, I hear you say - exactly.

Then again, cricket's administrators are proficient at doing little else other than screwing up whatever little is right about the game. Therefore, I would almost drop dead if I heard anything approaching a fresh and innovative model emerging from any of these esteemed organisations.

In the meanwhile, go the Kiwis:

Continued >> >>

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

India v Bangladesh: So What Is New?

Call it emotional or any other adjective that takes your fancy, my prediction of the outcome of this tour was nothing but accurate. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to deduce that this tour is surplus to requirements for Indian cricket at present.

However, a contract is a contract and it must be satisfied in full, regardless of whether the BCCI makes $10 or $10 million.

Question is, what have we learned about Team India from this series that we did not already know? Nothing at all really. Nothing at all.

Sourav Ganguly remains a ferocious tiger against the minnows. He has even proven himself capable of scoring more than a run every two balls. When he puts his head down he is still able to eek out a doughty knock, punctuated every now and then by shots that only he was ever capable of pulling off. More importantly, he has cemented his spot for the England tour, while Yuvraj Singh continues to rot.

Dinesh Karthik is nothing more than a stop-gap solution who is stopping a regular opener from cementing his place at the tope of the order. I fail to believe that there is no opening batsman on the domestic ciruit who has not shown some semlbance of talent and temperament for the big league. Stop the Karthik experiment and let the real men do the job.

The World Cup seems to have drawn the zing out of Zaheer Khan. He needs to show that he is not only committed to the team's cause, but he is proud to be out there. Poor body language has been the bane of Indian teams over the years and it must be addressed at the first instance.

As the match enters a possibly exciting fifth day, it will be interesting to watch the level of intent in Sachin Tendulkar's batting. One would think he has a license to blast away like the days of old. If nothing else, then simply to show the kids how it is done.

If this first Test does not result in an Indian win, I only hope that the rains stay away long enough for Dravid's men to quickly and clinically do the honours in the second test. I am not sure it is in any fan's best interest for this tour to drag out any longer than it needs to.

Continued >> >>

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Enigma Unmasked

I had enough of posting under an alias. So this is me - Ayush T.

Yes, I am unequivocally and irrevocably a pure-bred Indian, name and all.

Before anyone attributes this "coming out" to any increased level of maturity or other psychological condition, let me just clarify that the proverbial closet (and I use the term in a purely metaphorical sense) was getting a little stuffy.

So here I am.

Continued >> >>

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Cricket Meets Hannibal Lecter

Tony Greig introduced batsmen to the crash helmet. Dennis Lillee introduced cricket to aluminium. Adam Gilchrist introduced the squash ball to his batting gloves. Yorkshire's Simon Guy seems intent on introducing Hannibal Lecter to cricket (from Peter W via email):

Innovation should be applauded. A joke should be laughed at.

Continued >> >>

Monday, May 14, 2007

Australian Boycott: Will The World Follow?

An article in today's Age amused me to no end with this particular opening:
"Zimbabwe has attacked as desperate and racist the Howard government's ban on the Australian cricket team touring the strife-torn African nation later this year."

Along with this gem:
"By putting political pressure on their national cricket team not to come to Zimbabwe, the Australian prime minister is flouting United Nations principles on human rights because sporting is a human right which must be respected,"

The Howard government is "desperate", how exactly? It may just be that they are desperate to ensure that Mugabe does not line his pockets with any more of the millions that are paid to his cronies at Zimbabwe Cricket. It may also be that John Howard views the callous and inhumane extinction of scores of opposition supporters in Zimbabwe as a breach of the very "human rights" that the Zimbabwean Minister refers to.

In the relevant context the Australian government's decision to ban its cricketers from touring Zimbabwe is correct and proper. Some argue that there are grounds for labelling the decision 'convenient' and 'selective' when the various tours to a dictator-controlled Pakistan are do not attract the government's attention. This argument may have merit, but this is a larger issue (although not disconnected) and deserves separate analysis of its own.

What remains to be seen is whether any of the other major (or minor, for that matter) cricketing nations take a similar stand and remove a vital tool in Robert Mugabe's quest for legitimacy. As the ICC has proven itself to be utterly inept at taking any decisions for the benefit of the game, various governments around the world will have to take up the mantle of killing two birds with one stone - for political and sporting reasons. Although a boycott of cricket tours from all countries will not be enough to show Mugabe the door, it will go some way to telling Zimbabweans that the world has not forgotten. It will also serve to do what the ICC has faild to accomplish - remove Zimbabwe from a cricketing arena that it has always struggled to belong in, and clearly should not do so for quite some time.

Governments, including John Howard's, must also prevent their teams from playing Zimbabwe on neutral ground. The decision not to tour is as much political as it is financial. From the state of cricket in Zimbabwe, it is obvious that the money given to Zimbabwe Cricket by the ICC is being pocketed by people who have no pretensions about spending even a cent of it for the better of the game. The money will still be legally made available to them if the matches are played in neutral venues.

Finally and only slightly on topic, I yearn for the day we that we have the pleasure of listening to an ICC CEO who speaks more than diplomatic gibberish. Malcolm Speed has presided over some of the most farcical events in cricket's history. He is the operations head of an organisation that has gone to great lengths to heap scorn upon itself. He has developed a self-serving structure that has no room for accountability and epitomises everything that a professional should not be. Part of Speed's legacy is the shambles that is Zimbabwe Cricket.

The Australian government's decision is not "unfortunate". Malcolm Speed's involvement with international cricket is the real tragedy.

Continued >> >>

Indian Cricket: Common-Sense Is Suggested

No, no. Don't work yourself up into a wild stupor dreaming that BCCI office bearers have finally seen the light. We all know that common-sense is a term unheard of in the power hungry corridors of that venerable organisation. Understanding this very trait, a noteworthy external organisation has made a discernable impression (according to some reports) on Sharad Pawar's mob, if not the man-mountain himself.

If you find rain delays or washed out cricket matches a right royal pain then fret no more. The India Meteorological Department (check out the IMD here)
has offered its services to assist the BCCI in scheduling matches.

Simply, the IMD proposes to reduce the number of matches that may be impacted by inclement weather. More game time means more people at the ground and, more importantly, a larger number of bums on couches watching the box. Even Paris Hilton would have figured out by now that all this boils down to one thing, and one thing only, more money for the BCCI.

I'm not going to begrudge any party a little extra money if it means the weather Gods can stay away from my cricket matches. However, I do wonder weather any of the other cricket Boards employ the services of similar organisations when deciding their respective schedules?


Continued >> >>

Friday, May 11, 2007

Micky Arthur Suffers Bout Of Early Onset Dementia

For a side that entered the recently concluded 2007 Cricket World Cup as the, official, number 1 ranked team in the universe, South Africa put a pretty dismal showing. History repeated itself as all of Graham Smith's waffle about his team enjoying the view from top and taking the game to a new level proved to be just that.

In another display of ignorance, bordering on arrogance, South African Coach Micky Arthur is baffled as to why his World Cup result is being viewed as failure.

Really, who is he trying to take the micky out of? In a done and dusted case of convenience he offers, "we achieved a 75% success ratio and had only one poor World Cup match."

It is blatantly obvious that he now expects South African fans to purge any memories of the undignified loss to Bangladesh from their collective memories. What's more, do not even dare ask about the games against Ireland and Sri Lanka that were almost lost and the shoddy and insipid performances against Australia.

Arthurs may want to check his facts before making an ass of himself in future. He might also be well served by not assuming that he can take South Africans fans for a ride. Honesty and modesty are two words he may also wish to accept into his vocabulary.

If Arthurs is serious about challenging for the No. 1 ranking and retaining it for any length of time then he should consider sacking Graham Smith - for a start. A captain should be able to do slightly more than mouth off at every given (or non-given) opportunity. At the very least the coach needs to tell Smith that he is not a reincarnation of Steve Waugh and nor does he lead a side that is half as talented as the one Waugh had.

Continued >> >>

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Adam Gilchrist: Storm In A Squash Ball?

I have thought long and hard about squash ball-gate. It is one of those issues where the consitution of the game may not be an overly helpful guide in determining whether Adam Gilchrist's actions were ethical. The only law that can possibly be of any use in this debate is the one that pertains to the 'spirit of the game'.

Just for the record, I belong to the school of thought that condemns Gilchrist's actions as unethical and improper.

As an aside, what surprised me was the ICC's supreme speed in openly declaring that Adam Gilchrist had not broken any laws of the game. It astonishes me that one person within the ICC can hand down a judgement on an issue, which effectively is based on interpretation more than anything else, when every other sport has a tribunal-style system to decide the fate of the accused.

For mine, the ICC is correct in asserting that Gilchrist's use of a squash ball has not have breached any laws that deal with the type of equipment players can wear. However, it most definitely has breached any law relating the spirit of the game.

The most common argument in support of Gilchrist is that the squash ball is akin to any other piece of protective equipment that players may wear in today's game. I beg to differ. I have no problem with players wearing extra padding on permitted protective equipment to be extra cautious, but the squash ball is not a piece of protective equipment. The squash ball is similar to Dennis Lillee's alumnium bat and Hansie Cronje's wireless ear-pieces of 1999 World Cup fame.

Both Cronje and Lillee, before him, used equipment that was designed to give them an unfair advantage over their opponents. The concerned devices were not within the 'spirit of the game'. This is also the case with Gilchrist's squash ball. The ball-in-the-glove plan was designed to make it impossible for Gilchrist to commit mistakes that he would otherwise have been lulled into making by clever and accurate bowling - namely not playing straight.

On a related point, I fail to understand why Gilchrist would resort to such dubious tactics. Over the years he has flayed all attacks, especially of the Sri Lankan variety, without a foreign object in his glove. This was not an act of innovation or "good ol'" Australian ingenuity, it was a sign of an ageing cricketer becoming lazy after finding it impossible to remedy bad habits.

Its hard for me to write as such about Gilchrist, as I have admired his undying commitment to being a better man whilst he has been playing in the company of much lesser men. However, this was not a done thing.

As a tribute to how Gilchrist can really play, without implements in his glove, check out this video of his innings in the Ashes when he scored the second fastest century of all time:

Continued >> >>

Monday, May 07, 2007

India v Bangladesh: ODI Series Preview

Sample the following pearlers from the people who are supposed to know something about something:

Mohammad Ashraful: "But they [India] could find themselves stretched here," - rubbish!

Sidharth Monga: "The one-day team flies to Dhaka on Monday to play what is expected to be the most evenly contested series between Bangladesh and a Test-playing nation other than Zimbabwe," - rubbish!

Mohammad Ashraful, again: "Definitely, the absence of Tendulkar and Ganguly is a massive handicap for them as those two can win matches on their own. But we should concentrate on our game," - good thinking, son.

Sure, Bangladesh beat India quite convincingly at that bloated and farcical tournament they remain hell-bent on calling "The World Cup". Ditto for South Africa. But who are we kidding here?

As much as Monga and his like would like to make us believe, Indian expectations from this series should be no different to what they would have been had Rahul Dravid's team undertaken this tour just after thrashing Sri Lanka, earlier this year. For all the sensationalism associated with labeling this "the most evenly contested series between Bangladesh and a Test-playing nation", this is nothing but a chance for you Indian players to lock away some easy (despicably so, at times) runs before the real examinations begin against the big boys.

The likes of Manoj Tiwary, Ramesh Powar & Piyush Chawla should be looking to make a point for themselves, not extracting revenge for an unfortunate slip-up. With all due respect to Habibul Bashar and his charges, they should be fully prepared for normal service to resume and to be beaten comprehensively in each and every game.

The heat is not a factor (the Indians don't come from New Zealand). The bowling will be hungrier in the absence of the likes of Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble and Ajit Agarkar, it is potent enough to deny the Bangladeshi batsmen any free points. Harbhajan, in particular, needs to play domestic cricket again and re-learn what he used to like about playing cricket.

Even with Tendulkar enjoying some well deserved family time, the batting is more than capable. Abdur Razzak is not exactly a Shaun Tait and for all the talent of the Bangladeshi spin triplet, the Indians would prefer them to, even, Nathan Hauritz.

So ladies and gents, can we please cut the crap and call a spade for the simple gardening tool that it is. I understand some desperate men have newspapers to sell and commercial websites on which to sell ads, but those of us without ulterior motives well understand that Team India will win this series in Bangladesh - quite comfortably.


Continued >> >>

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Indian Cricket: You Call That A Dive?

This is easily the most uncomfortable climate Indian cricketers have had to endure since Hansie Cronje and Mohammad Azharuddin were brought down for match-fixing. With touch choices, insecurities and peronal agendas coming to the fore, I happened across an innocuous photograph of Sourav Ganguly diving to catch the ball during the preperatory camp for the Bangladesh tour.

The photo is innocuous until the moment you analyse exactly what he is trying to do. Have a look for yourself:

His eyes are quite obviously not on the ball and are transfixed at a location where he is not going to be able to automatically fine-tune the mechanics of the dive to ensure that he puts his hand and body in the optimal position to catch the ball.

Before people start calling me a Ganguly-hater (althought it might be tad late at this point), I must stress that my intention is not to get down and dirty on Ganguly. This disease unfortunately afflicts many Indian domestic and international cricketers, Anil Kumble comes very quickly to mind.

The whole point of a dive is to enable the fielder to make up ground that we would not have covered on foot. However, the fielder is still required to do everything else that he would have done while taking a normal catch. Primarily, he should keep his eyes on the ball up to the very point in time that the ball is safely lodged in the palm of his hands.

A dive is pointless and can be seriously injurious to health if it is not executed correctly. By keeping his eyes on the ball the fielder can also ensure that his fall is appropriately cushioned so that the ball does not dislodge from his hand upon a turbulent landing.

India's new fielding coach, Robin Singh, was an excellent fielder in his time and he has his work cut out with the current lot. Today's game does not forgive players who cannot dive. One of Singh's first tasks should be an exhaustive tutorial on the mechanics of safe and purposeful diving.

If he requires any audio-visual material for this tutorial, he can refer to Matthew Sinclair's stunner:

Notice, during the slow-mo replay, how Sinclair keeps his eyes on the ball till the very last second. That was no fluke folks. Check out some more sensational catches, have peek at this collection and witness how most men featured watch the ball for as long as physically possible:

It can only be described as unfortunate that the editor of this collection seems to be an England fan. Ahh well, we can't have everything in life. ;>

Continued >> >>


My sincerest apologies to you for being out of action for such a long time. I am in the process of completing an interstate relocation. As you can imagine, a lot of tasks were required to be completed and time was at an absolute premium.

I have a little more time now so the posts should not be so few and far between. Thank you for your support during the last month or so. It has been very appreciated. Continued >> >>
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